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ERIC Number: ED498956
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Declining by Degrees. Carnegie Perspectives
Merrow, John
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Prompted by a student comment that college lacked intellectual challenge, the author and colleagues sat in on an English class described as "a brain dump." The teacher had assigned students to write parodies of "The Road Not Taken," knowing that to do the assignment well, they would have to read and understand Frost's poem. The instructor was meeting students at their level, trying to push them to go beyond it, and lead them in new directions. Noting that most of the students seemed to view college as a passport to professional and economic security, with learning as a secondary consideration, if at all, the disconnect between expectations of students and expectations of professors, the author discusses the genesis and consequences of a shift to a view of education as a social contract that treats students as consumers. The author admires students who squeeze as much as they can from the college experience, and salutes teachers who dedicate their energies to seeing students succeed. Too much is left to chance, however, writes Merrow, and attention must be paid at a national level to maintain a leading global position in educational attainment.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 51 Vista Lane, Stanford, CA 94305. Tel: 650-566-5102; Fax: 650-326-0278; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Menlo Park, CA.